The measure of our advancement in the spiritual life should be taken from the progress we make in the virtue of mortification; for it should be held as certain that the greater violence we shall do ourselves in mortification, the greater advance we shall make in perfection.

– St. Jerome

In our great society, everything is self-focus. I am the center. I am the sun around which the plantets of others swarm and beckon. I am my own God. How foolish is the idea of mortification to this world. Deny myself? Purposefully create suffering? Scandalous. Insane. But what of that nagging feeling that all that I possess, all that I pursue, all that I attain will never fill the void in my soul? That voice that says: it won’t work this time either.

So why continue to pour endlessly into the abyss? Put it to an end.

Let us attempt the opposite. Hold back. Take less. Forget ourselves. Can it be that acting conversely to the world’s message may be truth? Conversely to our own desires? Yes, it can be. Let’s just try it. Just once.

And then maybe again.

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